‘Stop the Bleed’ Kits Installed in Westwood Classrooms

Over the break, Stop the Bleed kits were installed in every classroom. The installation of these kits was the result of an effort by the Westwood Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) to add trauma kits in classrooms and offices.

“The genesis of this project goes back about two years to the Parkland shooting… [but], it doesn’t have anything to do with a school shooting,” Dr. Mario Acosta said. “[It’s] just about having material in case somebody gets cut and to stop bleeding, so that was the goal of the installation of the kits.”

A PTSA committee was formed to address the issue of installing Stop the Bleed kits due to a change in Texas law that required teachers to take Stop the Bleed training. Though schools were not required to have the kits, the PTSA wanted teachers and staff to have the kits available to them.

“We were going to fundraise within the Westwood community and felt that we would be able to do so as our community is very supportive of our school,” PTSA member Ms. Sandi Bone said. “We invited PTSAs from each of the other high schools in the district because we felt they would want the kits in their classrooms too.”

Eventually, the district became involved. The committee worked with the district officials on what to include in the kits. Some of the officials the committee consulted with included the former Director of Health Services Elaine Douville and EMS responders.

“We also started working with various Area Superintendents, particularly the Westwood AS, Becky Donald,” Bone said. “Ms. Donald was instrumental in pushing this initiative through and resulting in RRISD purchasing the kits.”

The kits contain a variety of tools to plug wounds, including a tourniquet and gauze. These tools are critical for stopping severe bleeding and could mean the difference between life and death in severe cases.

“Inside the kit, it has a tourniquet, a seal, and wound packing, and [you] use those if there’s a major bleeding event,” Registered Nurse Rebecca Giguere said. “Our plan is to train all the staff this year and next [year] we’ll be rolling out a way to offer training to all students in the school.”

The PTSA would still like to expand the items in the kits so that if an emergency occurs there will not be issues with the amount of supplies. PSTA President Ms. Linda Baddour said that PTSA members are working with Dr. Acosta to determine what supplies should be added to the kits. In the meantime, the kits and training for staff members are improving school safety.